Tinker, Tailor


Tinker, Tailor

Tinker Tailor is a counting game traditionally played in England, similar to Eeny, meeny, miny, moe and can be used to count cherry stones, buttons, daisy petals etc.

It is as follows:

:Tinker, Tailor,:Soldier, Sailor,:Rich Man, Poor Man,:Beggar Man, Thief.

An alternate version::Rich man, poor man,:Beggar man, thief.:Doctor, lawyer,:Indian chief!

Full version

The tinker, tailor is one part of a longer counting game, often played by young girls; it runs as follows:

* "When shall I marry?"
** This year, next year, sometime, never.
* "What will my husband be?"
** Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich-man, poor-man, beggar-man, thief.
* "What will I be?"
** Lady, baby, gypsy, queen.
* "What shall I wear?"
** Silk, satin, cotton, rags (or silk, satin, velvet, lace)
* "How shall I get it?"
** Given, borrowed, bought, stolen.
* "How shall I get to church?"
** Coach, carriage, wheelbarrow, cart.
* "Where shall I live?"
** Big house, little house, pig-sty, barn.

References in Popular Culture

* A verse in the Irish rebel song "On the One Road" goes::Tinker, tailor, every mother's son,:Butcher, baker, shouldering a gun,:Rich man, poor man, every man in line,:All together just like Auld Lang Syne!

*The Yardbirds recorded "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor" for the album Little Games using this rhyme in one of the verses: "Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor / Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief / Doctor, baker, fine shoe-maker / Wise man, madman, taxman, please".
*A line in the song "Dandelion" by The Rolling Stones echoes the rhyme: "Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailors' lives/Rich man, poor man, beautiful daughters, wives".
*The John le Carré book title "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" refers to the rhyme.
*There is a reference on the Queen II album of the rock band Queen. The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke contains the lyrics: "Soldier, sailor, tinker, tailor, ploughboy / Waiting to hear the sound".
*The song "Crossed-eyed Mary", by prog rock band Jethro Tull featured in the album Aqualung, begins with the line "Who would be a poor man, a beggar man, a thief, if he had a rich man in his hand?"
*Art rock band Supertramp included the line "Soldier, sailor, who's your tailor?" on the song "Just Another Nervous Wreck" from the "Breakfast in America" album.
* AC/DC includes the line "Rich man, poor man, beggarman, thief" in their song, "Sin City."
*The Ellery Queen novel, "Double, Double", uses a version of this rhyme to connect a series of murders. His version goes:

:Rich man, poor man,:Beggar man, thief.:Doctor, lawyer,:Merchant, chief.

*In J.M. Coetzee's novel "Slow Man", character Elizabeth Costello postulates on Drago Jokic's future, claiming he can "be sailor or soldier or tinker or tailor" (p.191).
*Michael Ondaatje's novel, "Anil's Ghost", features the main character Anil uncovering clues to the murder of a skeleton she finds and names 'Sailor' after the rhyme, as well as the uncovering of three others she names 'Tinker', 'Tailor' and 'Soldier'.
*An Episode of is Titled 'Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy'
*The December 17 2007 episode of the UK Soap Opera 'Eastenders' saw the Mitchells playing this game at a party, Peggy Mitchell use the game to expose Billy Mitchell as the thief of the charity box from the Queen Vic pub.
*It is the title of an 1918 movie [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0009703/]

*The rhyme is used by David Cross in the end of the composition "Here" from the "Exiles" album.

*Rhyme used by Rip van Winkle in Hellsing Ultimate vol. 4.


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Look at other dictionaries:

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